What is Hospice?
hospice philosophy recognizes every person deserves to live out his or her life
with respect and dignity, alert and free of pain, in an environment that
promotes quality of life. From its beginnings, hospice has focused on the
whole person - body, mind and spirit - with an understanding that serious
illness profoundly impacts not only the patient, but family and loves ones as
the years, the medical community has come to embrace hospice for bringing quality
end-of-life services into the home, wherever home may be. Now, with the
support of hospice professionals and volunteers, individuals may maintain
control over their end-of-life choices and do so knowing hospice will support
the patient and family in a multitude of ways.
What Makes Hospice Care Unique?
Hospice care centers around the
patient and family. The goal of the professional hospice team is to
empower you to make your own choices with its support and assistance. The
team serves as your advocates, helping you to access the information and
resources you need during this very challenging time.
In addition to providing the
care directly, hospice team members serve as teachers, enabling the family to
care for their loved one at home. Hospice recognizes that the family and
caregivers need an extra measure of support both during and after their
experience of caring for a terminally ill patient.
Who is Eligible for Hospice?
serves patients with a terminal illness resulting in a life expectancy of six
months or less, as determined by the patient's physician. Care is
provided regardless of diagnosis, age, gender, nationality, race, creed, sexual
orientation, disability or ability to pay. The patient makes the decision
to choose hospice in partnership with his or her family physician and the
hospice team, after a thorough review of all the care options.
When is it Time for Hospice?
the goal of treatment begins to shift from curing the illness to providing
comfort, it is time to consider hospice. This time may come well before a
physician indicates the patient's life expectancy is six months or less.
Sadly, many people wait until their final days to involve hospice. By
contacting hospice early in the diagnosis, the patient and family reserve time
to understand their options and choose the path that will have the most
positive impact on quality of life. The best time to learn about hospice
is before you need it.
Why Should We Choose Hospice?
decision to choose hospice is a very personal one. It directly involves
the patient, family, physician and any loved ones who may serve as
caregivers. Here are a few things you should consider. Hospice's
expertise in palliative care assures the patient of state-of-the-art pain control
and symptom management. Hospice enables patients to focus on living their
remaining days to the fullest, at home, among family and friends. This
emphasis on family involvement - understanding that everyone's definition of
family is unique - helps individuals support each other during this difficult
time of life.
Where is Hospice Care Provided?
The majority of hospice
patients live in their own home with the help of a family member or friend
serving as the primary caregiver. This caregiver works closely with the
hospice team to provide for the patient's daily needs. In nursing homes
or assisted living facilities, hospice teams create a partnership with the
staff and family, just as they would with the family in the home.
In addition to home care,
hospice provides short-term inpatient hospital care to manage the symptoms of
illness or to give the family a brief rest from the responsibilities of
caregiving. During these times, the hospice team remains involved and
helps the patient transition back to the home environment as quickly as
How is Hospice Care Paid For?
for hospice services comes from Medicare, Medicaid, health maintenance
organizations and other private insurance plans. If you are unsure as to
the nature of the hospice benefit available in your insurance plan, speak
directly with your insurer or a hospice representative.
How Can I Find A Hospice Near Me?
Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home has a
complete and current listing of hospices within the state. The Association can
also provide you with the contact information for hospice organizations across
the country in the event you are seeking help for a loved one living elsewhere.
Hospice Programs & Services
addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient,
while attending to the equally important needs of the family and caregivers.
A team of hospice professionals and volunteers work cooperatively with the
patient, family and the primary physician to provide hospice services appropriate
to meet the patient's needs.
following services are provided through hospice:
who work together to oversee the medical services provided to the patient,
approve the plan of care and ensure the high quality of care.
in pain management and symptom control, particularly for end-stage diseases.
Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies
as appropriate to the patient's illness.
for symptom control and pain relief.
Hospice/Home Health Aides and Homemakers
who provide personal care and help with the activities of daily living.
Licensed Social Workers
who assist the patient and family with emotional
concerns, including bereavement, as well as access to supportive community
who serve people of all faiths, or of no religious
faith, providing comfort and support when needed, they also will
facilitate contacts with community clergy as needed.
who support the family and loved ones with support
groups, one-on-one counseling and other service during the bereavement process.
who can help improve the patient's quality of life.
who have been trained to provide companionship and
support the patient and family with the everyday challenges of life.